book review

Swoon Factor on High | Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith

Friday, January 18, 2019

Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith

Publisher: Macmillan - Swoon Reads
Publication Date: 1/8/19
Pages: 288
Source: publisher (Thanks, Swoon Reads!)

Mia's best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn's matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her. Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn't count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince - the guy she knows is right for her - and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn't find out that Mia's been matchmaking behind her back. Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?
Mia needs a date for homecoming, and her dream date, Vince, would be perfect if only she can get Robyn, her best friend, to match them together. Robyn manages a matchmaking service and takes her duties very seriously. Robyn is adamant that Vince is not the one for Mia. After embarrassing herself in front of the whole student body, she decides to take matters into her own hands and match herself with Vince whether Robyn approves or not. What started as an impulse decision quickly spirals out of control. Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith should definitely be on your radar!

  • The writing is absolutely fantastic! This fluffy contemporary will certainly make you swoon and cringe in all the right places. There were even instances where I was suffering from secondhand embarrassment because the story and Mia’s character is told so well! This book demands reactions, since it’s told in such a raw and real way: at some points, I was caught talking to the book as if the characters could hear me. The writing immerses you into the story.
flattered brittany murphy GIF
  • It is so rare to find a book that includes genuine laugh out loud funny moments. Yet, Match Me If You Can is definitely one of them.
  • Mia is 100% relatable. We would be instant best friends. Her thoughts and actions seem so real, a true teen portrayal. I loved how connected Mia was with her friends in the beginning. I only wished we got to see more of them together. Robyn was the most mysterious of the three. Her matchmaking service opens a hundred questions about her character that we do not receive in Match Me If You Can. It would have been great to get to know Robyn a bit more. Elena, the more out-going of the three, kept the group fun and impulsive. The friend dynamic worked so well.
  • There were some instances in Match Me If You Can that could have explored bullying. Instead, Smith just scratches the surface. If explored, it would have added a bit more depth to all the characters.
  • Usually YA suffers from the absent parent syndrome, where parents have so little to do with their children or they’re not even mentioned, but I was so delighted to see parents in Match Me If You Can. And in such a positive way, too. They were somewhat involved in their daughter's life and laid down the rules of the house. Mia and her parents had real discussions which creates an even more real-life portrayal of high school life. It really made the book so much more realistic. 
arrested development parenting GIF
  • The romance explores the uncertainty of love and finding it in the place you least expect. Even though it is rather predictable, the swoon factor is still at an all-time high. 

If you love cute, adorable and fluffy contemporaries, you'll love Match Me If You Can. The romance immediately enchants you, cementing this book as a new favorite!

author interview

Author Interview: Tiana Smith (Match Me If You Can)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Tiana Smith

Tiana Smith is the author of young adult contemporary romance, Match Me If You Can (Swoon Reads/Macmillan 1/2019). She serves as the Communications Chair for the Storymakers Guild and is passionate about helping teens. She is a graduate of Westminster College, earning degrees in Honors and English, with a focus in creative writing. Tiana is represented by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary. Visit the author at, follow her on Twitter @tiana_smith, or find her on Instagram @smith.tiana.
Have you ever seen the movie She's the Man? If so, we can be friends. If not, go watch it now. I'll wait.

The beginning menu of the movie sums it up by saying something like "Duke wants Olivia, who likes Sebastian, who is really Viola, whose brother is dating Monique, so she hates Olivia, who's with Duke to make Sebastian jealous, who is really Viola, who's crushing on Duke..."

And it's this convoluted mess of relationships that basically stems down to the fact that there's a girl who likes a boy that she shouldn't. I kept wondering, what if there's a girl who likes a boy, and she has the ability to actually make that relationship happen? And what if fate has someone better in store for her, who wasn't on her radar? Someone persistent, a little suave, and a whole lot swoonworthy? It'd probably get just as convoluted. I wanted to read that story, so I had to write it!
Well, Logan was partly inspired by my husband (I even stole some of his lines—with his permission, of course) so I gotta go with Logan on this one.

I also did journalism in high school! But the things I was involved in the most were orchestra and speech and debate. I played viola professionally for several years and was the first chair in the all-state orchestra, but sadly, my skills have gotten so rusty I hardly even take my instrument out of its case anymore. As for speech and debate, that’s a talent I still utilize whenever I give an author presentation. (Plus, my next book has a speech and debate plotline, so I get to relive my glory days!)

When I was in high school, I wrote for the Opinion section. I am very opinionated, haha.
Just keep trying! Writing is hard, and there are a lot of obstacles in your way if you want to get published. Every author has faced rejection. But once they faced that rejection (multiple times, usually), they kept going.
The beginning! I have at least ten different versions of the beginning saved on my computer. And trust me, each version was vastly different. The hard part about re-doing the beginning so many times is that you have to adjust the entire novel to fit with the new content you put there. Such a headache.
I really enjoyed writing Logan and his flirty ways. Such a charmer! I could see him perfectly in my mind and he always stole every scene I put him in. Those characters, the kind that take on a life of their own, are really the best.

I’d say she does a mixture of things. Yes, she goes off the results of her questionnaire, especially for the people that she doesn’t know too well. But a lot of it is done off instinct. When it involves her friends, she doesn’t even really need the questionnaire at all because she already has someone in mind for them. She’s always thinking of the next match. If she’s ever unsure, she’ll sit on it for a few days and watch people closely. Robyn is the queen of observation and people watching.
I’m working on my next book and I’m so excited about it! First of all, I’m excited because, hello, I get to have another book published and in the world! But I’m also thrilled because the story is a mash up of You’ve Got Mail and high school speech and debate, and that just makes my geeky heart so happy. It will come out about a year after MATCH ME IF YOU CAN, and it’s actually on Goodreads now!
I want to learn sign language! So so so badly. My husband is actually deaf in one ear, and his other ear is slowly getting worse over time. So, we have plans as a family to learn sign language together. I’m awful at languages, so wish me luck!

Thank you for joining us on the blog today, Tiana Smith!

I just finished Match Me If You Can and it absolutely needs to be on your radar. It's adorable, realistic, and definitely swoonworthy! My review will be up tomorrow so be sure to stay tuned. Match Me If You Can was published on January 8, 2019.

About Match Me If You Can

Mia's best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn's matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her. Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn't count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince - the guy she knows is right for her - and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn't find out that Mia's been matchmaking behind her back. Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

Tackling my TBR

Tackling My TBR: January 2019

Friday, January 04, 2019

Tackling My TBR is a monthly post, where I share my reading plans for the upcoming month. I was so inspired by booktuber’s, BooksandLala, Closet Unhaul series to tackle my own TBR in a similar method. I'm going to challenge myself to read books from my old hauls and if I can’t complete them within the month, I must unhaul them the next month. Also, any readathons or other challenges for the month will also be posted in this monthly post.

In December, I tackled both my October and November 2010 book haul, totaling in at 3 books. In all, I read two of the three books. Charlotte and Emily by Jude Morgan was a fiction dramatization of the Bronte sisters' lives. Primarily, the book was about Charlotte but readers get a taste of each of the three sisters through this fictional take. It was a bit slow but I am still happy to have read it. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon was, also, undertaken in December and it was such a mess. I suppose this series was written for fans of her other books, as it is set in the same world as her adult paranormal series, Dark Hunters (which I've never read). I just hope the books get better as the series progresses as I own all the books except for the fourth. I left Vixen by Jillian Larkin for the end of the month because I was on the fence about it. And in the end, I decided to unhaul it because I just couldn't even psych myself up to read it, for some reason.

On to this month, a new year, I will be making my way through my December 2010 book haul. It consists of 3 books which is another great, do-able number, considering the hauls seem to get larger in 2011 as the months go along (#bookbloggerlife).

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler: I adore quirky titles like this - you know the ones like Kale, My Ex, and Other Things to Toss in a Blunder or Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend. These titles, so cute, just make me smile. So, I bought this on a whim because of the title. From what I just read of the synopsis, it sounds like a cute contemporary about an unlikely pair getting together to complete a school project on wolves.

Inception: The Shooting Script by Christopher Nolan: Inception is one of my favorite movies of all time. In the height of its popularity, I purchased this book which is essentially the movie script, complete with behind-the-scenes notes, storyboards, and more from the director himself. I started this a while ago and put it down so I don't think it will take me long to finish it now.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins: For some reason, I thought this was a standalone. In fact, it is a trilogy. I'm super excited about this one because it's been appearing on my immediate TBR for years and it's finally going to be read. Plus, I was interested in purchasing Hawkins' Royals, her latest book, so this will give me an idea of her writing style. Hex Hall is about Sophie, a witch, who has to attend an isolated reform magic school when her spells draw too much human attention at prom.

What are you planning on reading this month?

blogger behind the bookshelf

Bookish Goals for the New Year (2019)

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Happy New Year! 2018 is behind us! 2019 is here! I have quite a few new goals this year. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I can successfully complete all of them. I was able to call 2018 a partial success via my bookish goals. It is such a great feeling to be able to check off your goals as completed. Here's my bookish goals for the new year:

Read at least 50 books

I started 2018 off with a promise that I wasn’t going to stress over reading the most, I wanted to take my time with my books. And that sort of promise made me finish off the year with 120 books read which is the most books in a year I’ve read EVER. So, I’m doing the same this year. I’m telling myself, it’s okay not to read as many books as other people. It’s okay to take a break from reading. It’s okay.

I’m starting the year off with a goal of 50 which I’m sure is manageable for me. And if I surpass it, that’s great!

Continue tackling my TBR

I started a feature here a few months ago inspired by BooksbyLala’s Closet Unhaul Series. It is where I share the oldest book haul I have on my Goodreads account. And from there, I have to read those books or unhaul them within the month. It’s been going great so far. Having looked further on my Goodreads books, I’ve noticed the closer we get to the present, the more books I started hauling in a given month. This may become a problem since I can only read so many books a month. But I hope to continue reading the oldest books on my shelves, in order to tackle my TBR.

Buy less books

This didn’t work out so much for me in 2018. However, maybe this will be the year I practice shelf control. 😊 If I buy less books than I read this year, I will deem it a success.

Read at least 5 classics

I have a few classics on my shelves that I still haven’t gotten to. And I would love to move them to the read pile:

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen | Great Expectations by Charles Dickens | Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy | Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Participate in more reading challenges/readathons

I had so much fun with that in 2018. My first ever readathon was a 24-hour readathon hosted by Zoe. Then to round out the year, I participated in Contemporary-a-thon in September and Spookathon in October. I had a blast each time and get so many books read that it really helps with getting my TBR pile down a bit. I'm keeping the goal vague since I'm still new to the experience. However, if I participate in more than 3 readathons this year, I'll be ecstatic!

Finish at least 12 series

I just made it at 14 series finished last year so I’m hoping to surpass that. It would be a dream come true if I was able to finish all of the series I started (that are completed). Will that ever happen? I don’t know but this will be a good start:

House of Night by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (3 books left) | Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (2 books left) | Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab (1 book left)

Touch by Laurie Faria Stolarz (2 books left) | Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (1 book left) | Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (2 books left)

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris (1 book left) | Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (1 book left) | Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay (1 book left)

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (2 books left) | Eve by Anna Carey (2 books left) | Maximum Ride by James Patterson (2 books left)

Read more adult books

I finished 2018 with around 30 adult books read. Adult books, as in books that are not in the children’s books categories. The Bucket List is a young adult book blog since I primarily read only YA. However, as I get older, I’m tempted to read that book all my peers are talking about or read that classic that I’ve been meaning to get to. And having discovered my love for audiobooks in 2018, I can fit in much more YA and adult books into my reading than ever before. It would be awesome to surpass last year’s number of 30 adult books read!

Finish my current WIP

This goal is a bit ambitious since I stopped writing it in the middle of the 2018. However, now that I’ve worked out some of the roadblocks I had with it, I think I have found a good direction and hopefully can work towards completing the first draft by the end of this year.

Annotate books

I started following a bunch of amazing booktubers on Youtube and one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of them annotate their books. When I was in high school, I always loved to tab my favorite parts in books and I’m thinking about bringing that back. Annotating books does slow down the reading process a bit but it also makes you think and process what your reading. Also, if I ever reread the book, I have those annotations of what I thought the first time around. I’m thinking of trying annotating on a few books and seeing if it’s a process that works for me.

book read GIF

Write final thoughts on each book on Goodreads

2018 was the year I didn’t write many reviews. 2017 was the year I was the review queen, writing a review for almost everything I read. I don’t know what happened last year. However, as much as I don’t write a book review for everything I read, I want to at least share my final thoughts on Goodreads. Whether it’s one or two sentences, this will help me remember the book a little more (especially if it’s a sequel) and maybe persuade other readers to pick it up (or to stay away).

What are you goals for 2019?

best of 2018

10 Best Books I Read in 2018

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Hello 2019! I've been waiting to say that. It's finally here! As much as I read some amazing books in 2018, I hope 2019 has some fantastic reads up its sleeve as well.

Since I mentioned all of these books at one point in the year, I'll just list them for today. However, if you're looking for some well written, gorgeous books to add to your TBR, these are the best I read last year. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: Top 10 Books I Read in 2018:

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen | When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon | Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich | Landline by Rainbow Rowell | The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard | When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen | Bang by Barry Lyga

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Which books made it to your favorites of 2018 list?